February 26, 2009

Centrotherm To Build 50-MW Thin-film Plant

KOLKATA: Centrotherm photovoltaics AG has received an order to construct a thin-film plant. Illies Renewables GmbH, Hamburg, has ordered a 50-megawatt (MW) production line for thin-film modules based on CIGS technology for its production location at Magdeburg-Rothensee, Germany.

The order value is in excess of €60 million. Delivery of the lines will begin prospectively in the first half of 2010. Illies Renewables is a project development company active in the renewable energies area.

"It gives us great pleasure to support Illies Renewables in their entry into thin-film technology," said Hans Autenrieth, member of the board of centrotherm photovoltaics AG. "This order provides further confirmation that we have backed a pioneering technology in CIGS."

Last year, Renewable Energy World Magazine reported that centrotherm plans to set up a 5000 tonne capacity polysilicon processing factory in the state of West Bengal in eastern India at an investment of US $3.18 billion. The factory is likely to be the first such plant in India and the state government has already allotted a quarter of the land needed for the 790-acre project. The factory will produce both electronic and solar grade silicon and will be equipped with a 100 MW captive power plant.

FDI inflow from NRIs steady despite recession

NEW DELHI: Global recession had no impact on Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) from Indians abroad as it has registered a rise in the current fiscal, the Lok Sabha was informed. Highlighting investment figures from the states, Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi said: "There has been no decline in investment due to global recession during 2008 as compared to 2007." Goa and West Bengal figured as the highest investment attracting states with the former receiving Rs 30 crore and the latter Rs 20.3 crore in FDIs.

NRIs, Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) and Overseas Corporate Bodies (OCB) accounted for FDIs and Foreign Technology Cases (FTC) worth Rs 70 crore during January to September 2008 in comparison to Rs 65.8 crore for the period January to December 2007, Ravi told the Lok Sabha.

Paramount Airways to fly to Kolkata by June

Kolkata: After entering the southern and western markets of the country, private carrier Paramount Airways is now planning to launch services to the eastern sector by June. “We are looking at June to begin operations to and from Kolkata,” the Chennai-based company’s managing director M. Thiagarajan told the media here Wednesday. Thiagarajan said initially the airlines will operate two to three flights between Chennai and Kolkata. “Later, we will connect Kolkata with all the southern cities via Chennai.”

He said his company was ready to get into the northeast too. “For instance, we can launch a service to Dibrugarh.” Thiagarajan met West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee Wednesday. “He requested me to operate services from Coochbehar, and promised all support.”
The airline now operates from three destinations in western India - Pune, Goa and Ahmedabad, and is the market leader in the south, with a 26 percent share.

He said by 2010, Paramount will operate flights in the northern and northeastern parts of the country. “Post-2011, we will look at flying on international routes,” Thiagarajan said. The company now has five aircraft, and has plans to buy three more by March-end. By 2009-end, the total number of aircraft will go up to 11.

“We will buy 10 numbers of either Boeing 787 or Airbus 350 once we start operating on the international route,” he said. Thiagarajan claimed that while the other airlines lost 8-10 percent of their passengers last year due to the slowdown, the number of Paramount’s passengers increased 5-6 percent.

Petroleum, Chemical and Petrochemical Investment Region (PCPIR) in West Bengal cleared by Union Cabinet

New Delhi : With the union cabinet clearing proposals of the West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat governments for setting up Petroleum, Chemical and Petrochemical Investment Regions (PCPIRs) in their territorial domain, a major hurdle has been removed in the way of investment worth more than Rs 4,50,000 crore in PCPIRs, chemicals minister Ram Vilas Paswan said today.

“With the cabinet clearing the proposals for three PCPIRs, I believe investment would now start flowing in these regions. Going by their (the states’) estimates, investment worth Rs 4,50,000 crore should start happening there,” Paswan said. The PCPIR policy notified in April 2007 seeks to ensure adoption of a holistic approach to the development of global scale industrial clusters in the petroleum, chemical and petrochemical sectors in an integrated and environment-friendly manner. “They would have high-class infrastructure, and provide a competitive environment conducive for setting up businesses. They would thus result in a boost to manufacturing, augmentation of exports and generation of employment, all needed to counter the effects of the global economic downturn,” the minister said.

As per the policy, 40 per cent of the area would be a processing zone, while the remaining would be the non-processing area consisting of residential, commercial and other social and institutional infrastructure. In terms of the policy, the state government is only required to notify and not acquire the entire area. A PCPIR includes SEZ(s), Free Trade and Warehousing Zones, Industrial Parks and existing industrial clusters. All existing labour laws would be applicable in the PCPIR and SEZs, in the region, if any, would be governed by special laws.

Of the three proposals approved, the Andhra Pradesh government has proposed to set up a PCPIR at Vishakhapatnam-Kakinada-Rajahmundry belt covering an area of 603.58 sq km. The total industrial investment in it is estimated at Rs 343,000 crore including committed investments of Rs 1, 63,890 crore and the envisaged direct and indirect employment in the PCPIR is estimated to be about 5.25 lakh and 6.73 lakh persons respectively. The state has identified HPCL and GMR-led consortia as the two anchor tenants for this project. Similarly, the Narendra Modi administration in Gujarat has proposed to set up a PCPIR at Dahej spread over blocks of Vagra and Bharuch in south Gujarat, covering 453 sq km at an estimated investment of Rs 50,000 crore.

West Bengal had proposed to host a PCPIR in Haldia in Purba Medinipur district covering the existing Haldia Municipal Area and the adjoining areas of Haldia Development Authority (including Nayachar Island), covering an area of 250.19 sq km. The government has estimated a total investment of Rs 93,180 crore in the proposed PCPIR, including a committed investment of Rs 48,180 crore.

West Bengal: Trinamool seeks tie-up with Congress

KOLKATA: A small section of Congress leaders in West Bengal may be more than keen to strike a deal with Trinamool Congress to fight the Lok Sabha elections jointly, but this cross-section has no role to play in finalising the deal with Mamata Banerjee. The Congress high command will finally decide on the issue.
"We can’t decide on fighting the coming Lok Sabha elections jointly with Trinamool Congress. We have already informed our party high command that we want an adjustment with Trinamool Congress. But a final decision in this regard will be taken by our party high command," leader of the Congress Legislative Party (CLP) Manas Bhunia said on Wednesday.
Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee is also aware of the situation which reasons her not attaching too much importance to hold talks with West Bengal Congress leaders. It is learnt that Mamata is holding talks with AICC leaders in Delhi regarding striking the deal with the Congress to take on the CPI(M) in the coming parliamentary elections. Mamata is maintaining silence on the issue and has reportedly assigned some of her trusted leaders to keep a close watch on state Congress leaders to gauge how many of them are serious about the alliance.
The AICC will hold a two-day session in Delhi from March 2 which will be attended by all state Congress presidents, legislative party leaders and party spokespersons. It is expected that the issue of a poll alliance in West Bengal will surface at the meeting and senior AICC leaders will try to ascertain from the West Bengal Congress leaders the electoral gains the Congress could achieve by striking a deal with Mamata Banerjee.
Meanwhile, second-ranking leaders of both the Congress and Trinamool Congress in West Bengal are continuing to run each other down. "Mamata Banerjee may be interested in striking a deal with our party to fight the elections jointly. But, her lieutenants are putting in all efforts to ruin the possibilities of finalising the seat-sharing. I request Mamata to identify her own party leaders who are on a mission to destroy the chances of a deal," Mr Bhunia said on Wednesday.
Mr Bhunia’s target was Partha Chatterjee, the opposition leader and Trinamool Congress MLA, who has made a scathing attack against external affairs minister and West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee (WBPCC) president Pranab Mukherjee, holding him responsible for helping out the CPI(M) in getting central funds for various developmental projects in West Bengal.

Maoists attack railway station, kill one RPF personnel

Purulia: A Railway Police Force (RPF) personnel was killed and three others were injured, two of them critically, when Maoists attacked the Biramdih railway station in this West Bengal district, opened fire and fled after snatching their rifles.

S R Majhi (24) was critically injured and died at the Bokaro hospital in Jharkhand, where he was shifted along with the other two from Purulia sadar hospital for treatment, Railway sources said.
About 10 Maoists took the RPF personnel by surprise by suddenly opening fire from sophisticated weapons at the station, 20 km from here in the Adra division of South Eastern Railway, Divisional Railway Manager Om Prakash Choubey said.

There would have been more casualty had the station been crowded, sources said, adding luckily for the passengers there was no train in the station when the Maoists struck. The attackers escaped through the common border with Jharkhand minutes after the operation. The leaflets and hand bills left by them were seized by the police.

WB Govt accepts Fifth Pay Commission recommendations

Kolkata: With Lok Sabha elections round the corner, the West Bengal Government today announced the implementation of the Fifth Pay Commission with certain improvements, which will be effective from April 1 this year.

"The state government has accepted, by and large, the recommendations of the Fifth Pay Commission, constituted by it, with certain improvements," Finance minister Asim Dasgupta said.

Beneficiaries will include ten lakh government employees, teachers and other staff, while the government has to incur an additional expenditure of about Rs 5,700 crore annually, he said.

Dasgupta said that replacing the existing pay scales, a revised pay structure with five Pay Bands and distinct Grade Pay for each of the unrevised pay scales have been introduced.

Giving an example, Dasgupta said a Group-D employee now drawing a basic pay of Rs 2,600 plus dearness pay of Rs 1,300 would get Rs 6,600 as basic pay in the revised pay structure. The highest basic scale in Pay Band-5 will be from Rs 37,400 to Rs 60,000, he said.

Govt announces bank loans for unemployed

KOLKATA, Feb 26, 2009: People who are unemployed have a reason to cheer as the state government of West Bengal has announced bank loans of Rs 50,000 for the unemployed youth. The state government announced the scheme on February 24th with a view to help the unemployed youth who want to start their own ventures. Labour Minister Mrinal Banerjee discussed the loan granting procedure in a meeting with the representatives of RBI, Bank of Baroda, SBI and other banks.

Addressing a press conference, Mr Banerjee said, "We have worked out a new scheme, Udiyaman Swanirbhar Karmasanstan Prakalpa 2008, for unemployed youth who set up small business ventures in the state. We are looking at businesses where the minimum investment will be Rs 50,000 and maximum investment Rs 5 lakh. The state government will provide a 25% subsidy for these business ventures."

He stated that, "Youths, between 18 and 45 years of age, would be given Rs 50,000 each. Of this, the state government will pay Rs 12,000." The minister said that if ten individuals joined together to prepared a scheme, then they would get loan of Rs 5 lakh and the government would pay Rs 1.25 lakh of that amount.

This scheme will be available to those people who have registered with employment exchanges and have not received any job through the exchange in the past one year. "We plan to launch the scheme in the current financial year. A screening committee will be set up with representatives from the labour department, district administration, banks and chambers who will scrutinise the business proposals."

Further the state government is in discussions with the some public sector banks to lend loans for the purpose. "We have spoken to eight nationalised banks today on this issue. We plan to meet these banks next month again," said the labour minister.


Press Information Bureau,
Government of India
Thursday, February 26, 2009

Ministry of Urban Development has given approval to three new JNNURM projects in Kolkata, West Bengal. The Central sanctioning and monitoring committee for the sanctioning of projects under submission-1, Urban infrastructure and governance (UIG) has sanctioned Transmunicipal surface water supply scheme for Dum Dum, North Dum Dum and South Dum Dum municipality, Municipal solid waste management project of 13 municipal towns of Kolkata (Halisahar, Kanchrapara, Kayani, Gayeshpur, Nalhati, Bhatpara, Khardah, Barasat, Madhyamgram, Mahestala, Pujali, Baruipur and Uluberia) and construction of flyover from Parks Circus to Parama Island.
The first project will improve the deteriorating ground water supply, both in quality and quantity by augmenting the existing water treatment plant at Kamarhati from 140 MLD to 280 MLD by utilizing the water from existing source. After implementation of the project 24Hrs connectivity will be provided to 100% households. The project will reduce the wastage of water by replacing the leaky pipe and installing water meters to measure the actual consumption. The project will be implemented in 30 months by Kolkata Municipal Corporation.

Regarding the solid waste management project for 13 municipal towns, it would cover 251.40sqkms of area and a population 24.90lakhs. The project will address the problem of source segregation of solid waste, street side storage in open masonry vats, open dumping in low lying areas, designing of sanitary landfill site with requiste infrastructure facilities treatment of MSW through Vermi/Mechanical composting. The Construction of flyover from Parama Island will ease traffic congestion at Park Road due to 7 roads meeting at the intersection. The project would be completed by March 2010.

The details of the projects are as under:
Sl. No.
Mission City/State
Project Cost (in Lakhs)
Approved Cost (in Lakhs)
Central Share
ACA Proposed to be released

Kolkata, West Bengal
Transmunicipal Surface Water Supply scheme for Dum Dum, North Dum Dum and South Dum Dum Municipalities
2616.04 (1st installment)

Kolkata, West Bengal
Municipal Solid Waste Management of 13 municipal towns for Kolkata (Halisahar, Kanchrapara, Kayani, Gayeshpur, Nalhati, Bhatpara, Khardah, Barasat, Madhyamgram, Mahestala, Pujali, Baruipur and Uluberia)
979.69 (1st installment)

Kolkata, West Bengal
Construction of Flyover from Park Circus to Parama Island
2552.04 (1st installment)

The CSMC also sanctioned 2nd and 3rd installments in respect of 5 ongoing projects as under:-
Kolkata, West Bengal
Construction of Flyover between E.M. Bypass and Kazi Nazrul Islam Sarani
332.67 (2nd installment)

Kolkata, West Bengal
Surface Water Supply scheme within added areas of Howrah Municipal Corporation
793.53 (2nd installment)

Kolkata, West Bengal
Development and management of water supply and sewerage systems of Sector-V under NDITA at Salt Lakh (Phase-I)
228.08 (3rd installment)

Kolkata, West Bengal
10MGD water treatment plant at Uluberia Municipal Town under KMDA
398.83 (3rd installment)

Kolkata, West Bengal
Underground water reservoir-cum-booster pumping station at Gandhi Maidan Akra
93.28 (2nd installment)


KOLKATA: The West Bengal government has drafted an ambitious textiles policy with the vision to create ten lakh jobs by 2012. The state government has identified 100 acre land for the textiles park in Howrah district , which will be alloted to Chamber of Textile Trade and Industry (Cotti). The proposed textiles park by the Cotti, will bring in an investment of Rs 500 crore.

The policy also aims to create a "robust textile infrastructure in the state by setting up 20 integrated textile/apparel/hosiery parks, three jute parks, 50 additional handloom clusters, silk parks together with one Integrated Silk Processing and Printing Complex (SPPC) and an ultra-modern integrated textile township in the state, the first of its kind in the country, during the next five years.

The infrastructure will be developed in public-private partnership." The policy also aims to double the existing handloom output and attain an export level of 10 per cent of fabric turnover, enhance the number of active powerlooms in West Bengal to 20,000, thereby increasing the powerloom output by at least 300 per cent to reach 180 million meters by the year 2012. The policy also aims to increase the existing readymade garments output of 400 million pieces of woven wear and 90 million pieces of knitted garments in the state by 300 per cent, and to double the readymade garments export from West Bengal.

The land identified for the park, which, has been stuck due to litigation, said sources. It has been stalled for almost two years in the wake of land related issues. Cotti will not get Scheme for Integrated Textile Parks (SITP) grant from the Union government, unless it has the land in its possession. If approved, the park will get a maximum of 40 per cent infrastructure cost, or Rs 40 crore, whichever is lower, as grant.